AO Platinum Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: United Kingdom
County: Greater Manchester
It's hard to say which of the options most accurately sum up my feelings tbh.
It has changed, and not necessarily for the better. The game itself is still a bunch of guys kicking a ball about and losing on penalties in the case of England. Sometimes, it is brilliant, exciting and passionate. At others is is stodgy, skill-less and dull. Just like the old days but on better pitches and in nicer stadia.
It's a greedy game though. It has the most rapacious maw for sucking up ever greater amounts of cash and treating fans increasingly like mug-punters.
The money has been called "stupid" for 20 years (or more) but I think most fans are not just getting jaded but a bit sickened by each ridiculous mega-hike in transfer fees and salaries. Barely better than journeymen players being bandied about as worth £35-45 million, strikers who barely make the subs' bench at some ECL teams being talked of as £80 million, star players are nonchalantly discussed as £100-£200 million transfer targets; routine mentions of players commanding £350,000 a WEEK salaries!
It's not only detached from fans, it is detached from reality. What GOOD could the world do with some of that sloshing dosh?
Throw in the corrupt largesse of FIFA and the game is looking less a thing of beauty and more a pit of filth.
Clubs no longer value trophies and titles in and of themselves but as a means to an end, and that end is more cash. Fourth place is seen as ambition because it gets you into the ECL and more cash. Championship clubs want promotion for cash not glory.
Clubs are owned and run by big business who are only interested in.....you guessed it.....how much money they can make from the fans, Sky and BT.
Tickets at many clubs are either or both of expensive or unavailable on an ad hoc basis. Gone are the days of walking up to the gate with your dad. Lots of soccer tourists and prawn sandwich corporate eventers. This means you don't get so many locals and family members going so much. I'm not badly off but I don't think I can afford 3 season tickets, even if I can get them. This waters down the next generation of fans. JimJr likes to go to a game but is totally disinterested in watching it on TV.
I think the game is in danger of eating itself in the end. The bubble will burst. TV will start losing bucket-loads of customers as they begin to baulk at the rising subscription fees. Many clubs will hit the financial wall and fold. Maybe sanity might only return afterwards. It would become more about the game than the dough again. Who knows we might even win a World Cup again.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
Jan 2019 New Giulia Veloce Misano Blue
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